US 51, Woodruff/Arbor Vitae - Oneida and Vilas counties


US 51 - 3rd Avenue to WIS 70 east
Woodruff and Arbor Vitae
Oneida and Vilas counties


The identified needs on this section of US 51 include:

  • The traffic demands of the US 51/WIS 47 and US 51/WIS 70 intersections are creating inefficient operations.
  • Crash data indicate emerging safety problems throughout the corridor.
  • The pavement and the curb and gutter are deteriorating.
  • The storm water drainage system is undersized and requires repair.

Proposed improvements

  • Reconstruction US 51 from 3rd Avenue to Tuckaway Road as a five-lane road (two lanes in each direction, separated by a center turn-lane), transitioning to the existing four-lane, undivided roadway.
  • New pavement structure, curb and gutter, and storm sewer.
  • New sanitary sewer and water main as needed.
  • Improved intersection configuration with updated traffic signals at the US 51/WIS 47 intersection
  • Addition of enhanced bike and pedestrian facilities throughout the corridor to provide for multi-modal users. These enhancements include, but are not limited to, sidewalks and on-street bicycle accommodations.
  • Install new LED street light system along US 51, as requested by the towns of Woodruff and Arbor Vitae.
  • Replacement of Arrowhead Creek and both Little Muskie Creek drainage structures
  • Improvements to US 51, north of Tuckaway Road (with the exception of the north crossing of Little Muskie Creek) will be done at a later date as a separate project that is yet to be scheduled. This includes improvements at the US 51/WIS 70 intersection.

Traffic impacts

The project will be constructed in stages to maintain one lane in each direction. Motorists can expect to encounter single lane closures and temporary traffic signals.

During fall 2018, left turns will not be allowed at the intersections of WIS 47, 2nd Avenue, and 3rd Avenue. Left-turning traffic will be detoured via County J.

During summer 2019 the highway may, at times, be reduced to one lane in each direction. 


  • August 2017 - Final plans scheduled for completion
  • Spring 2018 - Construction currently scheduled to begin
  • Fall 2019 – Construction scheduled for completion


Jed Peters, P.E., WisDOT Project Manager
(715) 365-5731

Kristin McHugh, WisDOT North Central Region Communications Manager
(715) 421-8380

Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT)
North Central Region, Rhinelander Office
510 North Hanson Road
Rhinelander, WI 54501
Phone: (715) 365-3490
Fax: (715) 365-5780
WI Telecommunications Relay System (TTY): 711